Not so: they are in the light, and are sons of light; their eyes have been opened, and they have turned from darkness to light; what they need now is rather to grow in the apprehension of the truth. Light is usually spoken of world-wards, i.e. towards those in darkness. Thus in John’s Gospel it is spoken of over a score of times up to the middle of chapter 12, where occur the last words of the Lord to the world in the way of testimony. There He says, “While ye have light, believe in the light.” From that point in the Gospel all the Lord’s teaching is within: the time of His testimony, the time during which the light shone amidst the darkness of this world was over. In chapter 13 Judas goes out, and it is night. The disciples are within with the One who is the Light, but He is not then so spoken of: light is never again mentioned in the Gospel; instead, what becomes prominent is the truth: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (14:6); “the Spirit of truth” (14:17; 15:26; 16:13); “all truth” (16:13); “Thy truth” (17:17).
To illustrate. Here is a class of students; it is broad daylight, and they are examining, under their teacher’s instruction, an object whose properties he is pointing out. They gain in apprehension of the truth about that object, but get no increase of light, that they are in all the time. Saints are said to be in the light; God, who is light, is thus known (1 John 1); and now, as in the light, “His marvellous light,” they are to behave accordingly, and seek enlarged apprehension of the truth as expressed in the Son of God.
The Lord Jesus is “the Light of the WORLD.” He cannot be advanced upon. This does not refer to details in our path. “Light” and “truth” are not properly distinguished by many.
The Holy Spirit in and with His own is spoken of as “the Spirit of truth,” never as the “Spirit of light.” We are “light in the Lord:” to speak of a light in the church is subtle error. Satan comes amongst believers in that way, transforming himself into an angel of light and his ministers into ministers of righteousness (see 2 Cor. 11:14). “Light” and “righteousness” (so called) seem to be his successful weapons amongst them. Boastful expressions, such as “fresh light,” “new light,” “higher light,” etc., carry their own condemnation. The true Light already shines. He that goes beyond has not God.